U.S. 'fully' backs Japan, calls for release of Japanese


The United States “strongly condemns” the Islamic State militant group’s threat to kill two Japanese captives and called for the immediate release of these and other hostages, a U.S. State Department spokesperson said Tuesday.

“The United States is fully supportive of Japan in this matter,” Jen Psaki said in a statement. “We stand in solidarity with Japan and are coordinating closely.”

Secretary of State John Kerry plans to speak later Tuesday with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to reiterate U.S. support, according to Psaki.

A video was released on the Internet earlier in the day purporting to show a member of the jihadist group threatening to kill two Japanese captives unless $200 million in ransom is paid.